Toyota to develop a ‘fully connected city’ in Japan
Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has started a program to develop the first ‘fully connected city’ in Japan. It will be a big laboratory for all future technologies like autonomous driving, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI).
The city will be called ‘Woven City’ and installed at the foot of Mount Fuji (central Japan). The purpose is to test innovative products in the real world. Initially, there will be 360 inhabitants; later on, some 2 000. Inventors and employees of Toyota will be the guinea pigs of the program.
On Tuesday, there has been an inauguration ceremony on the 175 ha large premises. In the past, it was the home of a Toyota factory that closed its doors a year ago. “The ‘Woven City’ project will start officially as from now,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda solemnly declared.
The innovative city is part of the development strategy of Toyota in search of new technologies. These will have to meet new requirements and expectations, following the ever-growing number of regulations and customers’ changing preferences. It pushes the entire car industry toward more sustainability, efficiency, and automation, say Toyota.
Toyota had presented this idea of a ‘living laboratory’ for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2020. The presentation was also a call to investors from all over the world to participate in the project.
Such projects of entirely connected cities are proliferating throughout the world, especially in North-America and China. Interested players are the so-called GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and the Chinese government, closely cooperating with Chinese giants like Huawei, Tencent, or Alibaba.
All these projects are profiting from deploying the new 5G network, offering much more connectivity possibilities and speed than the existing 4G networks.